Building your own bass....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by crazyphil, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. I've just been looking through some web sites and I'm wondering how many of you have built your own basses? After totalling up all the parts, I deduce it would cost me at least 3-4 times as much as it would cost to buy a good new bass, but the thought of playing something that I built myself is very appealing. What are your experiences in this area? Anyone?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Mass production basses are a collection of compromises, IME & IMO. The number crunchers project a price point where the instrument should come in with. On the other hand, with customs, you and your wallet determine the "cost/benefit" trade-off.

    - Could I design clothing that would appeal to me more than store-bought stuff??? - YOU BETCHA!
    - Is store-bought clothing less expensive than what I would have to hire a tailor to make for me??? - YOU BETCHA!

    But, to me, it's only "clothing." A bass is an aspect of who I am and how I perceive beauty. If it turns out stanky, I'll know better next time around.

    I think that's a big reason why many bassists have modded and hot-rodded their (otherwise) production instruments.
  3. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    By building your own bass do you mean the Warmoth style(assembling from components) or actually building the whole thing? I did the latter and ended up with A bass I feal would have cost twice as much as I put into it cash wise.
  4. I'm currently building my own, and yes, it can get spendy. I'm already $400 into the project, and still need to buy pick ups and body woods. I'll probably end up spending another $100 - $200 before I'm finished. So, I'm looking at a total of nearly $600 on the high side.

    There are some really good $600 basses on the market, but getting a fully customized to your specs and built by hand bass for $600 is going to be a hard find. And there are some mass produced basses that still cost way more than $600.

    In my case, building my own bass is the only major GAS I have left to cure. Sure, I've got some minor GAS (a 6er, an acoustic, effects pedals, hard shell cases, etc.), but the hand made is the only thing on my mind at the moment. ;)

    Skorzen posted while I was writing this post, and he brings up a good point. Buying all pre-made parts (i.e. neck, body, etc.) from say Warmoth, is a good way to spend $800 for something that looks like most every other production bass on the market. Now Warmoth basses are still damn good basses. But like Skorzen pointed out, you can buy a chunk of wood and carve it into any shape you wish, conventional or not, and save mucho cashola doing it. The only pre made part I bought was the neck, and even it has a blank paddle headstock, so I can customize it to my own design.
  5. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I would LOVE to build my own jazz bass some day from Warmoth parts! I think it would be worth it to totally get everything to your own specs and colors.

    Vintage white with Tortoise pickguard.

    Swamp ash body. Maple/Ebony neck

    Schaller Vintage tuners. Gotoh bridge

    Sadowsky pickups (!!)

    sweet sweet sweet!!
  6. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Yeah, having the self-gratification that, if it comes out good, you built a quality instrument that is better than most other hi-end boutique basses and that the bass is half in price of those basses. That is what the best part about building it yourself.

    Warmoth is the way to go for simplicity. Bodies come out great and whatever finish/woods you want, within their list of course. But its pretty good quality stuff, anyways.

    I say do it, I would, but I current don't have the time, but maybe I would do so in the future.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    If you build a half-breed, like from Warmoth parts, it will be quickly done, to a high price.
    If you do all the woodwork, and most of the mechanics, yourself - it takes a while, but the cost is low. And the satisfaction is maximal (ref to rickbass above).